A weekend of skiing or snowboarding can encompass a lot of gear that needs to stay dry, safe, and easy to find. We spent a weekend at Keystone Resort with the Dakine DLX Cargo Pack 55L Boot Bag, and didn’t lose a single sock, mitten, or toothbrush.
The box for the Dakine DLX Cargo Pack Boot Bag was larger than we imagined, but still felt lightweight. Once we unpacked, we immediately started digging into the numerous pockets, straps, and zippers. The split-level design makes for a very large compartment on the bottom of the bag, where ski or snowboard boots fit. The top space has two compartments, one specifically for a helmet, and the other space for extra gear you need to carry (plus an inner pocket for small items). Both areas are lined with tarp so the bag will survive melting snow, and the straps on the outside of the boot bag allow for an A-frame ski carry or a vertical snowboard carry.
We were heading up to the mountains for a weekend, so we had quite a few items to pack along with our snowboarding gear — suit for the hot tub, clothes for the bars, and a laptop and toiletries for recovery time. With some strategy, we fit everything we needed for the weekend into the Dakine bag. The bottom compartment fit our snowboard boots stuffed with socks, as well as a few base and mid-layers and snow pants. The helmet fit into its designated place along with our goggles, balaclava, and mittens. The other top compartment held pajamas, toiletries, extra clothing, and our laptop. Once the bag was full, we pulled out the stowable shoulder straps, tightened the compression straps, and threw it easily on our back. Other boot bags are able to hold a similar amount of gear but can only be carried duffel style. With our free hands, we grabbed our snowboard and packed up the car without a hitch (or anything falling to the ground).
The rest of the weekend we were able to come and go from the bag with all of our gear in one space, ready to pack up once the weekend was over. Our car stayed dry, gear stayed put, and it’s all ready to go when the next snow storm hits. [$110; dakine.com]